Can Running Shoes Be Used For Hiking? We Tell You Answer

Can Running Shoes Be Used For Hiking? We Tell You Answer

Well, there is not any standard answer to this question, it depends on factors like what type of person you are or how often you go on hiking.

Maybe you are one of those who just getting started and planning to go on a hike. Or you don’t want to invest in a specific type of hiking shoes.

Then it is essential for you to have knowledge of Whether can running shoes be used for hiking or not?

Running shoes can surely be used for hiking, but to be specific, they are not the best option. Because they are made of lightweight materials and are more specific for cushioned running. However, they might have some durability, but not be able to deal with rugged terrain properly.

For people who don’t want to invest in a separate pair of hiking shoes because they do not often involve in hiking activities, using running shoes for a hike is just fine.

Let’s know what the basic difference between running shoes and trekking shoes is.

Running Shoes VS Trekking Shoes

Can Running Shoes Be Used For Hiking? We Tell You Answer

Most professional hikers prefer specific types of hiking boots and trail shoes. Because they are specially designed for the same hiking surfaces that you are planning to run on. 

These hiking shoes can protect your ankle, knees, and toes from being injured by providing stability and firmness against various rough terrain and sharp rocky surfaces.

But, there are also some good quality running shoes like Nike Wild Trail Outdoor and Asics GEL-SCRAM 5 available with a sturdy design. 

These running shoes have highly durable outsoles with grooves and lugs patterns to provide good grip and ground stability.

These are also versatile running shoes as they can perform well on both flat surfaces and on challenging terrain.

So, if you can afford to invest in this kind of running shoes, you can make your outdoor trip safer and enjoyable.

What Is Running Shoes?

Running shoes are specific types of shoes specially designed for runners running on surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and trail. 

They are well-cushioned, breathable, and lightweight shoes built to cushion the impacts and shock against running on flat surfaces.

This construction allows the foot proper airflow and offers natural movement by providing a good amount of stability and traction.

What Is Trekking Or Hiking Shoes?

Hiking shoes are specifically outdoor shoes designed to provide optimum comfort, good stability, and an ample amount of traction on various types of terrain, rough, and rocky surfaces.

Hiking shoes are more sturdy in nature as they are designed with stiffer materials, have sturdy heels, and low heel-drop with reinforced toes.

This construction makes them comfortable and well-balanced to work and run in extreme outdoor conditions.

Difference Between Running Shoes And Trekking Shoes

The main difference between running shoes and trekking shoes can be seen in the upper fabric, soles, and treads. Running shoes are lighter built to provide cushioned running on flat surfaces. While trekking shoes are tougher and built to perform last-long on various rough terrain. 

Now, you may have got an idea of what the actual difference between running shoes and trekking shoes are. 

But, the main question still remains that whether you should use your running shoes for hiking or not?

Reasons Why You Should Not Use Running Shoes For Hiking

To run safely on the trail or outdoor, there are some required things for a shoe. Trekking shoes come with these things which make them perfect for extreme outdoor. 

But, the typical running shoes don’t have the same and fail to withstand under outdoor conditions. This is why you should avoid using running shoes for trekking. 

These things could be:

1. Tough Design

For outdoor conditions, a shoe must have enough durability and strength to protect the feet both from outside and inside.

Hiking shoes have been designed with outdoor conditions in mind. This is why they feature a tough design with sturdy and stiffer materials to withstand all kinds of harsh conditions.

But, the typical running shoes are mostly made of light materials and are less durable. So, they do not provide optimum protection and support and can easily wear out.

2. Durable Upper

For longevity, outdoor shoes must have tough quality upper material. This is why hiking shoes mostly crafted using stiffer materials like leather and plastic.

This upper unit gives the shoe durability against sharp rocks and terrains. It also makes sure that the shoe doesn’t wear out quickly and helps to protect the feet.

But, running shoes mainly features upper made of synthetic and Phylon materials. They are more breathable but less durable. So they provide a good amount of comfort and breathability but not durability.

3. Sturdy Soles

To protect the feet from being seriously injured against uneven surfaces, Trekking shoes come attached with the most durable rubber outsole.

The sole also features thick aggressive tread, lugs, and grooves patterns to make every step safe and well-balanced and avoid slipping.

But most running shoes have thick cushioned soles with less durability which are ideal for running on flat surfaces but not suitable for trail and outdoor.

So, if you go on hikes wearing this type of running shoes, you do leave yourself susceptible to injuries. Which we do not recommend you to do.

4. Ample Protection

From a protection perspective, hiking boots and trail shoes built to last and can survive longer on aggressive terrain and rocky surfaces.

But, due to their lighter nature, Running shoes don’t provide a good amount of protection to prevent the feet from being injured from surrounding outdoor elements. 

5. Waterproofing Ability

For outdoor and trail conditions, it becomes essential that the shoe has good waterproofing ability to make the shoe dry every time when they get wet. 

This is why trail shoes and hiking boots are designed with more breathable upper material with a water repellent layer. This layer allows proper breathability and prevents water to get inside the shoe.

But, typical running shoes have the only breathable ability but not waterproofing. So, they can easily soak water inside running on wet surfaces.


In the end, we would say, if you’re just getting started and going on hikes, running shoes can surely be used for hiking. But do remember, they are not built for the demand.

However, you don’t need hundreds of dollars for specific hiking shoes, as a good pair of running shoes can work well and is worth investing in for this job. 

The only thing is that running shoes will wear out sooner as they are not specifically designed for hiking. So be sure that you are wearing good quality running shoes.

But for long-term use or in order to stay safe and to avoid injuries, or to get the most out of your outdoor trip, it is always recommended to invest in a specific pair of trail shoes or hiking boots.

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